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Find a Fun Event in Tempe

Looking for fun things to do in Tempe and the Phoenix area? Plan your visit to coincide with one of Tempe’s exciting events including festivals, concerts, sporting events and more. Browse the Tempe calendar of events to find year-round fun! And if you’re visiting this spring, visit our Spring Festivals and Events vacation planning page! Tempe events offer a variety of experiences throughout the year:

Whether it’s a Tempe music festival or a Tempe block party, this part of town is bustling all year long. From contemporary art exhibits to live music to Broadways shows, art festivals or sporting events, Tempe fits the bill.

Upcoming Events

Meet the Caterpillars

Desert Botanical Garden
March 5, 2016 - May 14, 2016

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through May 14th, you are invited to meet the caterpillars that will turn into beautiful Arizona butterflies. The Desert Botanical Garden has both caterpillars and chrysalises on display. Discover how these amazing creatures transform from hungry caterpillars into chrysalises, then emerge as fluttering butterflies.

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ANNIE

ANNIE
May 4, 2016 - May 8, 2016

Location: ASU Gammage

See ANNIE at Tempe’s ASU Gammage May 4-8, 2016. The world’s best-loved musical returns in time-honored form. Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro, this production of ANNIE will be a brand new incarnation of the iconic original. Featuring book and score by Tony Award®-winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, ANNIE includes such unforgettable songs as “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” plus the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

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Comedian Carly Aquilino

Tempe Improv 300x200
May 5, 2016 - May 8, 2016

Location: Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre

Carly Aquilino is a stand-up comedian described by audience members as "funny" and by her father as "a huge mistake". A cast member of MTV's Girl Code, Carly, a New York native, first stepped on stage at Gotham Comedy Club and has since been quickly rising in the comedy scene, performing regularly at The Stand Comedy Club in New York City. See her perform live at the Tempe Improv May 5-8, 2016.

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2016 Movies in the Park – Inside Out, May 6

Movies in the Park 300-x-200
May 6, 2016

Location: Kiwanis Park

Skip the theater and bring the whole family to Kiwanis Park for the annual Movies in the Park series. Every Friday night in May there will be a free screening of a beloved family-friendly flick. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic dinner. All movies begin at dusk, approximately 7 p.m. at the north soccer field (Mill Avenue, just south of Baseline).

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2016 Spring Music in the Garden: Guitarras Latinas

Music in the Garden at Desert Botanical Garden
May 6, 2016

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

Enjoy beautiful scenery, warm Arizona weather and talented musicians at the Music in the Garden Spring Concert Series at Desert Botanical Garden. All concerts are held at the Ullman Terrace on Friday evenings. Guitarras Latinas will perform Latin world music from 7-9 p.m. on May 6, 2016. Guests can enjoy dinner at the Gertrude's, located onsite, or purchase food from the chef-attended station or the Patio Café at the venue while enjoying music.

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Shari Rowe Band

Tempe Marketplace
May 6, 2016

Location: Tempe Marketplace

The energetic, singer-songwriter Shari Rowe, fuses classic country with bluegrass and blues-rock flair. She's performed with acts such as Big and Rich, Duck Dynasty’s Uncle Si Robertson, Marsha Robertson, and Maddie and Tae. See her concert at Tempe Marketplace.

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Fear Factory at The Marquee

Marquee Theatre 300x200
May 6, 2016

Location: The Marquee

Fear Factory is an American heavy metal band that was formed in 1989. During the band’s career, it has released nine full-length albums and has evolved through a succession of styles, including industrial metal, death metal, groove metal, and thrash metal. Fear Factory was enormously influential on the heavy metal scene in the mid-to-late 1990s. See them perform live at The Marquee on May 6, 2016. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

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Costume Storytime at Changing Hands Bookstore

Changing Hands Tempe 300x200
May 7, 2016

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore

Bring the kiddos and your camera for pictures and a storytime with the characters from Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie series.

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Ratio

Tempe Marketplace
May 7, 2016

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Ratio is recognized as the “Best Jazz Band in Phoenix” by the Phoenix New Times Magazine and the “Best Blues Band” by the Arizona Republic, this versatile band led by founder Larry Rhymes is comprised of some of the best musicians in Phoenix. Their repertoire contains 60’s and 70’s Funk, 80’s Jams, Smooth Jazz, Classic Soul and Motown. See this popular Phoenix band perform at Tempe Marketplace.

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FIT4MOM Mega Mother’s Day Class

Tempe Marketplace
May 9, 2016

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Join FIT4MOM at the Tempe Marketplace District Stage for an amazing and extra-special Stroller Strides fitness class taught by all the expert instructors in Metro Phoenix. Plus, enjoy goody bags, raffle prizes, refreshments and more. This free class is all about celebrating moms. For more details and to register, visit metrophoenix.fit4mom.com.

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Ongoing Events

Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night

Tempe Center for the Arts
January 6, 2015 - May 25, 2016

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Walt Richardson hosts open mic night with some of the Valley’s best singer-songwriters every Wednesday at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Artists vie for a chance to perform at In the Spotlight and in the Songwriters’ Showcase. Exclusive session for high school age and younger from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sign up begins at 4:45 pm for youth open mic, and 5:45 pm for adults. There is no cover charge for this event.

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Desertscapes: Narrative Landscape Photography

Pueblo Grande Museum
October 2, 2015 - August 31, 2016

Location: Pueblo Grande Museum

Desertscapes  features black and white landscape photographs by Wayne Norton. He describes this exhibit  as a portrait of the American desert, through which he wishes “to question Man’s treatment of the desert and our existence there…” He describes his work as formal, graphic compositions and says “My concerns for the desert are serious but my artistic vision is often symbolic, whimsical, and even ironic.” The exhibit is included with paid museum admission. Museum hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission Adults (18-54) – $6 Seniors (55+) – $5 Children (6-17) – $3, Free on Sundays Under Age 6 – Free Museum members – Free

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Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden

Water Towers, Photographer, Mark Pickthall
November 20, 2015 - May 8, 2016

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

See the Desert Botanical Garden in a whole new light this year. Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden will bring eight large-scale light-based installations to this popular attraction. British artist Bruce Munro uses a variety of materials, such as fluorescent tubes and LED-lit water bottles, and hundreds of miles of glowing fiber optic. Visitors can wander through and Garden and see his site-specific installations along the trails, giving them a new perspective on the Sonoran Desert landscape. This exhibition is appropriate for all ages. Tickets will go on sale in September. See the Desert Botanical Garden website for more details.

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TCA Gallery presents: “Merely Players”

Merely Players at the TCA Gallery
January 15, 2016 - May 14, 2016

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

William Shakespeare wrote “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” in the play “As You Like It.” The Gallery at TCA (Tempe Center for the Arts) is pleased to present the “Merely Players” exhibition. This gallery exhibition at the Tempe Center for the Arts explores the vision, process and culminating performance role costumes play in creating altered egos on and off the stage. Visitors can see firsthand the artistic talents of costume makers and local performing arts organizations. The exhibit also examines and highlights the wide range of events such as concerts, plays, festivals and Comicon events where costumes play an important role. Visit the website for gallery hours and more information.

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hello Friday at the Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe Center for the Arts
January 22, 2016 - December 31, 2016

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Every Friday, enjoy specialty drinks, chef-inspired affordable bites, live music from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m, vintage games and sunsets over Tempe Town Lake at the Tempe Center for the Art’s prime time Happy Hour. Purchase of wristband ($7) allows access to the food station from 6-8 p.m. Musical Performance Schedule (tentative) March 18: Jenny Jarnagin March 25th: Justin Olson April 1: Blaise Lantana April 8: Jenny Jarnagin April 15: Jenny Jarnagin April 22: AJ Odneal April 29th: Eric Ramsey May 6: Billy Cioffi

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Exhibition at Desert Botanical Garden: Return to the Desert

Dyana Hesson Return to the Desert
January 29, 2016 - May 22, 2016

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

This art exhibition at Desert Botanical Garden celebrates 25 years of paintings by botanical artist Dyana Hesson. Hesson is known for her beautifully detailed oil paintings of plants from roses to cactus flowers. Entrance to this exhibition is included with paid Garden admission or membership.

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Participant: Photographs by Spencer Tunick

Photographs by Spencer Tunick at the ASU Art Museum
January 30, 2016 - May 28, 2016

Location: ASU Art Museum

Since the early 1990s, Spencer Tunick has traveled the globe creating staged images of multiple nude figures in urban and rural public settings. And since 2000, collector Stephane Janssen has been a participant in photographs that range from a handful of figures in an art museum to thousands of volunteers in the Dead Sea. “Participant” includes more than 20 works from the Janssen collection which are a blend of photography, installation and performance. This exhibition and the accompanying artist’s book are supported by Stéphane Janssen. Open Tuesday: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Closed: Sunday, Monday and holidays. (Additional educator hours by appointment: Mondays and before 11 a.m. Tuesday–Thursday.)

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Watertight: Sandra Ramos

Watertight: Sandra Ramos at the ASU Art Museum in Downtown Tempe
January 30, 2016 - May 28, 2016

Location: ASU Art Museum

This ASU Art Museum exhibition revolves around eight recent, short video animations that explore the complex historic and current relationship between Cuba and the U.S. Cuban artist Sandra Ramos’s witty figures and settings draw from literature, popular media and the island of Cuba, and combine in narratives that explore provocative issues of immigration and international borders, containment and power structures, illusions and lost utopias. The animations are on loan from the collection of I. Michael and Beth Kasser, who generously supported the artist’s residency. The exhibition is supported by the Evelyn Smith Exhibition Fund. The ASU Art Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday; Closed: Sunday, Monday and holidays. (Additional educator hours by appointment: Mondays and before 11 a.m. Tuesday–Thursday).

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Tony Labat: Love Me Two Times

Tony Labat: Love Me Two Times at the ASU Art Museum in Downtown Tempe
January 30, 2016 - May 28, 2016

Location: ASU Art Museum

“Love Me Two Times” presents two recent projects by Bay Area-based, Cuban-born artist Tony Labat exploring issues of labor, migration, and displacement. The first, premiered at the Havana Biennial in 2012, is a participatory installation based around a hand-made billiards table in the shape of the island of Cuba. The second installation features six months of video surveillance footage of day laborers taken out the window of the artist’s studio. Sponsored by Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen and the ASU Art Museum Creative Impact Board. Exhibit runs Jan. 30-April 21 and April 30-May 28.

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Between Earth and Sky: Southwest Art in China

Southwest Art in China at the ASU Art Museum in Downtown Tempe
January 30, 2016 - May 28, 2016

Location: ASU Art Museum

Working with ASU’s Center for American Culture and the American Centers for Cultural Exchange (ACCEX) network in China, the project shared the richness and diversity of the American experience with Chinese students, faculty and general public with works on paper by Southwest artists at universities in Sichuan, Nanjing, Shanghai and Xi’an. The exhibition and its tour was supported by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday; Closed: Sunday, Monday and holidays. (Additional educator hours by appointment: Mondays and before 11 a.m. Tuesday–Thursday).

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